Chris Evert’s open letter to Serena

Chris Evert’s open letter to Serena in the May issue of Tennis Magazine:

Dear Serena,

I’ve been thinking about your career, and something is troubling me. I appreciate that becoming a well-rounded person is important to you, as you’ve made that desire very clear. Still, a question lingers—do you ever consider your place in history? Is it something you care about? In the short term you may be happy with the various things going on in your life, but I wonder whether 20 years from now you might reflect on your career and regret not putting 100 percent of yourself into tennis. Because whether you want to admit it or not, these distractions are tarnishing your legacy.

Just a couple of years ago, when you were fully committed to the game, you showed the athleticism, shot-making, and competitive desire to become the greatest player ever. Many besides myself shared the same sentiment. You won five of the six Grand Slams you entered over the 2002 and 2003 seasons and looked utterly dominant in the process. Then you got sidetracked with injuries, pet projects, and indifference and have won only one major in the last seven you’ve played. I find those results hard to fathom. You’re simply too good not to be winning two Grand Slam titles a year. You’re still only 24, well within your prime. These are crucial years that you’ll never get back. Why not dedicate yourself entirely for the next five years and see what you can achieve?

Perhaps the reason I feel so strongly about this is because I wasn’t blessed with the physical gifts you possess. I know that the lifespan of an athlete’s greatness is brief and should be exploited. Once you get to No. 1 in the world and start winning major titles, you should see how far you can take it. You’ve become very good at many things, but how many people would trade that to be great at just one thing? I don’t see how acting and designing clothes can compare with the pride of being the best tennis player in the world. Your other accomplishments just can’t measure up to what you can do with a racquet in your hand.

Ironically, I believe that if you fulfill your potential on the tennis court, all your other endeavors will become that much easier to pursue. You could become the most famous athlete in the world. Every magazine will want you on its cover and any door you wish to walk through will be wide open. When I was playing, I always knew there would be time to get married, have children, do TV commentating, and even coach if I wanted. I assure you there will be time for you to chase all your dreams once you’re through with tennis.

I offer this only as advice, not criticism, from someone with experience. If you’re completely happy with the way your life is, then crumple up this letter and throw it away. I wish you nothing but luck and success in all your pursuits. Just remember that you have in front of you an opportunity of the rarest kind—to become the greatest ever at something.

I hope you make the most of it.

14 Comments »

  1. Herbert Hunter, Jr. said

    I am old enough to remember Chris, Martina, Steffi Graf (my favorite), etc. I love Chris’s letter and the intent. My two questions:
    1) Did she actually send a letter Serena could frame as a keepsake or was it just in the magazine
    2) Did Serena acknowledge

    Thanks……..Herb

  2. NAzmin said

    this open letter does not deserve a response

  3. Anna said

    Take her advise …crumble this up and throw it in the trash..Serena has already become a part of history….her desire for marriage and family should be on her choice when …no one else’s …%..Y an open letter..is this sincere or a chance to catch fadeing lime light…the whole world already knows the name SERENA WILLIAMS….and the only magazine covers that r RACIST are the only ones that won’t have her….

  4. MY TERMS said

    It has and still is obvious that Serena is not well liked by the commentators and it bothers them even more that Serena does not respond to their criticism. Who does Chris Everet think she is to call someone out? How many champions has she built at the Everet Academy?

    One cannot dictate someone else’s life here in America it just doesn’t work like that. If Chris Everet really wanted to “so to speak” help Serena she would silence some of the critics in the commentator’s booth during Serena’s matches.
    SERENA DANCE TO THE SOUND OF HER OWN BEAT NOT YOURS OR ANY OF THE OTHER COMMENTATORS!

  5. Mykal Gary Riley said

    Beautifully done. Did you notice that the letter was written in 2006 ie ten years ago? It may have irked Serena at the time but in the period since the letter was written she has gone on to do exactly what Evert was suggesting at the time – maximise her potential and chase true greatness. If you follow tennis you’ll know that Evert and Navratilova presented her with her 18th slam equalling their respective slam records. Now Williams is chasing her 22nd, I Think it worked out well for everyone.

    • admin said

      Yes indeed; except the US Open 2015 -:( … I cried my heart out for her.

    • Wisdom Werks said

      Typical white mindset. Lloyd’s letter alone (not even knowing if Serena acknowledged it) propelled this person demonstrating laziness and complacency into the greatest of all time. LMAOF! I say hello no, didn’t have a damn thing to do with Serena’s succcess thereafter. She’s done commercials, dated the rapper Drake (now if that ain’t a distraction, I don’t know what is), dated another celebrity I can’t recall before dating and marrying her husband. I swear, black people can’t do anything great in you people’s minds unless a white person somehow had major influence over them. With Tiger it was Butch Harmon, yet Harmon never had another coached player do 1/2 as well as Tiger and Tiger won something like 6 more majors until injuries and his fractured marriage distracted him. Good grief people, just stop it already!

      PS – This will outrage many of you because the truth hurts sometimes, but I’ll say you don’t do it consciously, so I can’t berate too much. It’s quite subconscious as this is a manifestation of what you are trained to believe. You’re brainwashed (and still try brainwashing unsuspecting minorities) into thinking everything great imminates from white people. Truth is, many of these things were discovered by other than white, but didn’t get introduced to society until a white person introduces it, so be mindful, not everything you’re conditioned to believe is true and not everyone believes in the hype.

      Lastly, take a look at Serena’s grand slam record hon, she strung together most of her majors between 2009-2010 and 2015. Are you claiming a 3-4 year delay in affect? LOL! Y’all crack me up!

  6. […] No! No! A thousand times no. No apology required whatsoever. Go back and read the letter and look where Serena was and now what unfolded since. Chris—sorry, I can’t bring myself to do […]

    • Wisdom Werks said

      Thank you! So tired of this mindset!

  7. Betty Lemmons said

    Is Chrissie Everett a RACIST. SHE STILL HATES THE WILLIAM SISTERS ARE STILL GOING STRONG.

  8. maxine Smith said

    I hate to say this but Chrissie was right

  9. Morgan said

    Old Chrissy should mind her own business! I had to look her up to see who she was.Lol! Serena you are great …do what you want when you want! Don’t worry about all the racist morons.Enjoy your daughter and all you do!

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